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|Sunday, November 22, 2009|
He chose an industry you wouldn’t expect in this recession — the housing industry.
Making a large capital investment (in a quantity Boydstun would not disclose), he took three years to retrain his engineers from Boydstun Metal Works, which he closed in April. The business, Miranda Homes, is using the same facilities his car business did to build homes in Oregon. It’s raising eyebrows both locally and nationally because they just might be the most sustainable and energy-efficient homes being built in the state right now.
“We’re going back to the way homes used to be built,” Boydstun says. “We are building the whole house.”
Contracted to build 20 homes in Newport, the company sold its first house on Oct. 6, before it was completed. Located in Clackamas near 132nd Avenue, it went for $285,000.
“Miranda is showing that you can build a more energy-efficient house and the house could end up costing less,” says Mike O’Brien, a green building specialist at Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development.
The outside of the house doesn’t reveal that the frame is made out of recycled steel. And rather than being built on site, large pieces of the home are assembled at Boydstun’s Clackamas plant and then transported to the site where the panels are pieced together.
That makes the house so well insulated that the National Association of Home Builders, which is monitoring the energy efficiency of the home in Clackamas by measuring air flow and changes in temperature and humidity, estimates the house’s energy consumption will be around 50% of an average house.
“Headed toward 50% in energy efficiency savings is big,” says Amber Wood, a program manager at the National Association’s Research Center. “They’re going to be a leader in energy efficiency, nationally.”
“Their envelope is much better than a site-built house. It’s flawless,” says O’Brien.
And it was all done in 48 days, with Miranda’s 15 employees and four subcontractors doing electrical, plumbing, HVAC and landscaping — unlike the usual six months and numerous contractors.
Rather than using subcontractors, Miranda’s engineers are cross-trained. Wood says that “bringing everybody back in adds a lot of aspects of making it easier to build a house.” Miranda Homes also owns all of its own equipment.
Wood says it is that capital investment that’s key to Miranda’s uniqueness, funding the numerous up-front costs associated with bringing the various trades in home building in-house.
Boydstun, who knew nothing about building homes three years ago, was able to create Miranda’s business model and way of building homes — both radically different from typical home builders — because he and his engineers were able to approach home building from a completely different perspective.
“It’s not that it hasn’t been figured out,” Wood says. “It is somewhat unusual to combine everything the way Miranda Homes has.”
Correction, published Dec. 17, 2009:
The facility where Miranda Homes are being built was mistated; they are being built on privately owned property that was used by Boydstun Metal Works for R&D. Also, Miranda Homes is cross training its site workers, not engineers, instead of using subcontractors
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.
Friday, August 14, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
We get the education we deserve.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.